Asia Bibi row: Twitter suspends protesting leader Rizvi’s account
Islamabad, Nov 5: Social micro-blogging site Twitter came under criticism for refusing to block the account of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi after he was seen spearheading violent protests against the Supreme Court of Pakistan's verdict reversing the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, who was handed a death sentence earlier on charges of blasphemy.
It was subsequently reported, however, that Twitter suspended the account of Rizvi (@KhadimRizviReal. On visiting the handle, one would see the notification that 'Account suspended'.
Something good happened, says Jemima Goldsmith.
The move left many glad, including former wife of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Jemima Goldsmith who applauded Twitter saying "Something good happened today". Goldsmith, who was married to Khan in the early 1990s and was elated when her former husband became the country's premier after doing good in the July elections, was disappointed over the Asia Bibi row and said it was not the "Naya Pakistan" that everyone had hoped for.
Digital rights activist Nighat Dad said that Twitter accepted her request to take a step. "Okay great humans of twitter seems Khadim Hussain Rizvi's twitter handle is gone," she said in a tweet.
The social media made the move hours after Pakistan's Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said on Sunday that despite a request from the Pakistan government, Twitter had refused to block of the firebrand cleric's account.
Replying to notable author and political commentator Ayesha Siddiqa who asked whether the ministry had contacted with social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to take action against Rizvi's accounts, Mazari was quoted as saying by Pakistan Today: "PTA was asked to do this by the relevant minister on Friday and I am shocked it hasn't happened as I was present when PTA bureaucracy was finally found available and tasked!"
The TLP ended its protests on Friday after entering an agreement with the national government as Punjab provincial government that Asia will be put under travel restriction and that the latter will not object to a review of the court's judgment.